By David O'Malley | September 11, 2017
The one-two punch of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has impacted so many in Texas, Florida and throughout the Southern part of the U.S. We keep all of those impacted in our thoughts and wish them a speedy recovery.
Markets will be looking at how these two storms will impact the economy both in the near term and farther down the line. In the short term, the potential is for the storms to put downward pressure on economic performance and distort statistics (like the rise in unemployment claims last week), but the rebuilding process will be a boost to the economy.
By Mark Heppenstall | July 13, 2017
The Misery Index, developed in the 1960s by Yale University economist Arthur Okun, has been a widely followed measure of national economic performance. The Index is calculated by simply adding together the trailing 12-month inflation rate and current unemployment rate. This week’s chart shows a 70-year history of the Misery Index in the U.S.
By David O'Malley | June 5, 2017
The May employment report was released on Friday and was weaker than expected. On the positive side, the unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4% in April. The current level of unemployment should be putting upward pressure on wages; however, the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) appears to be lower than most experts predicted. Average hourly earnings, which I have been watching closely, increased by a disappointing 0.2% in May, leaving the year-over-year increase at a stable 2.5%.
By David O'Malley | May 15, 2017
The S&P 500 failed to break the 2400 level last week but did set an all-time closing high of 2399.63 on Wednesday, May 10. The market continues to drive higher, led by technology stocks and decent first quarter earnings. I expect stocks to continue to grind higher for the next several weeks.
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